Hunter: Angels Could Use Fielder Or Dunn

Torii Hunter has never been one to be shy in the media. According to a tweet from FOX Sports' Jim Bowden, Hunter recently opined that his Angels could use an addition like sluggers Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn. When asked if he's talked to GM Tony Reagins or manager Mike Scioscia, Hunter wouldn't say, though Bowden believes he has.

The Angels are without first baseman and heart-of-the-order bat Kendry Morales following a bizarre injury suffered when celebrating a walk-off grand slam. Since then, catcher Mike Napoli has seen the lion's share of playing time at first base. As a first baseman, Napoli is hitting .253/.329/.453. Some may say he's held his own, but he's not living up to Morales' .290/.346/.487 line from 2010, and especially not his .306/.355/.569 breakout from 2009.

Fielder, 26, is eligible for free agency following the 2011 season. As we learned in late June, he's not currently discussing an extension with the Brewers, and you have to imagine that as a Scott Boras client, he's going to test the market. Off to a slower start than 2009, Fielder's still hitting .266/.390/.488 with 18 HR. Due to his age and contract status, he's likely tougher to acquire than Dunn. There's also the issue of what to do with Fielder following 2010 when Morales is healthy.

Dunn, 30, is a free agent following 2010 and off to a better start. He's hitting .276/.363/.549 with 17 homers. Finishing up a two-year, $20MM contract, Dunn has just $6MM of the $12MM he's earning remaining on his contract as of today. We learned yesterday that he'd hoped to have an extension worked out by the All-Star Break, but that seems unlikely.

The Angels sit a manageable 4.5 games behind Texas in the AL West, and we've seen them acquire rentals before, as they did with Mark Teixeira in 2008. A deal for either Fielder or Dunn would likely require far more than they dealt in that trade (Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek), but we've heard there's no limitation on their spending this July.

20 Responses to Hunter: Angels Could Use Fielder Or Dunn Leave a Reply

  1. The Angels badly need another big bat. That lineup has too many holes in it. Other than Hunter, nobody’s really having a big offensive season. If they go with Napoli the rest of the way at first, they’ll be watching the postseason at home.

  2. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    I think they could use a stud OF or 3B. Dunn would be a good option for the season. They can re-sign him and play him at DH while Morales can play 1B when he returns and Napoli returns to catcher unless they want to keep that other guy as catcher (Mathias I think?) because of his defense and then move Napoli in the off-season.

    • WasianCU 5 years ago

      Doesn’t Dunn say he doesn’t want to sign with a team just to play DH even though his defense is horrible?

  3. The Angels are only 4.5 games back. Taking on Prince Fielder and giving up top tier prospects is definately not the direction the angels should go in. Mike Napoli is doing a fine job at first batting .253/.329/.453 and they should not worry at this point on a first baseman. Pitching is my concern with LA, as Only weaver and Saunders are keeping up with the hype. Maybe add a mid tier pitcher in the lines of Jeremy Guthrie, or I think Carlos Zambrano would be a perfect match.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      That must have been a typo. Saunders is keeping up with the hype?

      Santana has been solid, but unspectacular. Pineiro has been better than most expected (especially when looking at FIP). Kazmir has been a disaster, while Saunders is middling around in the mid to high 4’s in ERA (and even higher in FIP).

  4. Piccamo 5 years ago

    If the Angels acquire Fielder, they could stick him at DH next year after Morales is back (or DH Morales for a while if he’s still not up to 100%). He would cost more than Dunn, but they’d be guaranteed to have 2 chances at the postseason with him as well. Getting to the playoffs may not be enough though. They’ve done that fairly consistently for much of the last decade. If they’re going to make trades, it has to be so that they can get to the World Series. For that they need a bat and an arm.If they think they can go for winning it all, they should trade for Dunn plus maybe Guthrie, Oswalt (depending on what they have to give up and how much salary room they have), or Myers. Stay away from Carlos Zambrano unless the Cubs are willing to eat nearly the rest of his salary.

  5. BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

    “There’s also the issue of what to do with Fielder following 2010 when Morales is healthy.”

    You stick his fat little behind at DH where he belongs. You can call me skeptical if I say I don’t believe his average defense will remain average defense for long with that body.

  6. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    Fielder would go to DH in 2011 after Matsui is gone. He is the player that makes the most sense for the Angels going forward.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      You give up your minor league farm system PLUS $10-15m/year for a DH?

      I just don’t see the wisdom in that. Dunn, to me, makes way more sense. He will cost less, net draft picks after the season is over, and provide similar offense to Fielder. The team can then decide to go after an aging slugger to fill the DH slot in 2011 or keep it open and shuffle current players through the position on days off.

      I love Fielder. If we didn’t have Morales it would be a whole different story. I just don’t see how having to elite level 1st baseman is the right way to fill out your team. Especially with glaring holes in the bullpen, rotation, and at 3B and OF.

  7. DJ_2 5 years ago

    Honestly, I would love to see Fielder putting of the Pinstripes on a daily basis. I know we have other needs to pursue right now (bullpen & bench help), but Prince would be a great option in NY. He fits right in to the Yanks’ lineup as a DH and could spell Teixiera about once a week at 1B. Think about a 3-4-5-6 of Tex, A-Rod, Prince and Cano. Unstoppable.

    And it’s not like the Yanks don’t have the prospects to do it. We could definitely woo the Brewers with one of Romine or Montero (I’d prefer to give up Romine). We could even spare one of Gardner or Swisher given the likelihood that Crawford will be signed after the season.

    I think a deal could be centered around Gardner, whose value is at its peak right now, and Romine. That plus maybe an A prospect and two B’s could work out.

    This would actually work out really well for the Yankees in that they won’t have to rush Montero up to the Bigs to DH. Let him work on defense and bring him up when Jorge retires. Plus, Fielder could even possibly look into signing an extension in NY if they do well in the postseason. I don’t know how the Brewers would react to the Yankees calling, but it sure does make sense for them to at least try.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      So you want a 1 – 9 of

      That would certainly be an impressive collection of all stars. Why stop there, though? You could get rid of Gardner and Swisher and sign both Werth and Crawford. Maybe keep Gardner as a bench bat and defensive replacement.

  8. Anthony Emmerling 5 years ago

    “There’s also the issue of what to do with Fielder following 2010 when Morales is healthy.”

    Hey we also cannot forget that Morales has played a little bit of RF, granted its only 18 games, but its always a suggestion.

    More realistically though is that you move one of them to the Angels’ underachieving 3rd base position making Izturis and Frandsen utility men. It would give the Angels depth around the infield.

    I agree that the Angels need another solid starter. Guys like Oswalt and Lee will cost quite a bit therefore I suggest they chase a quality #2 starter. That would allow them to move Kazmir/Pineiro/Saunders to the bullpen for some bullpen help. Perhaps Kazmir to the pen would provide that extra Lefty that the angels could use out of the pen.

    • BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

      Either Morales or Fielder at 3rd spells utter disaster.

      • Anthony Emmerling 5 years ago

        Why does it spell disaster

        • bjsguess 5 years ago

          Neither Morales or Fielder should be anywhere on the field besides 1st base and DH.

  9. ryankrol 5 years ago

    The Angels’ lineup does not need another big bat. They are 5th in the AL in both Runs and HR’s. Kendry Morales’ bat was more of a power surplus. If this lineup needs anything, it’s a leadoff hitter… and a .300 hitting Scott Podsednick on a poor team just passed right on by.

    Every starting lineup of every contender is full of gaping holes. Angels are right in the thick of the pennant race, in which there isn’t much of a wide curve as far as winning pct.

    The Angels need bullpen help, BADLY. You can have all the big bats you want to, but if your bullpen can’t hold a lead then you might as well fire sale now while you still can.

    The Angels could easily go after both Dunn (free agency) and Fielder (via trade), sign them both to multi-year deals, and then move Kendry Morales in the OF in 2011.

    If it were up to me, I’d do that, and in the meantime I’d acquire Hank Blalock to platoon at 3B with Kevin Frandsen while also providing more depth at the corners and at DH.

    Then, I’d trade Rivera, Wood, and a prospect for a top reliever and possibly even more bench help. If possible, I’d keep Mike Napoli just in case, and then trade Mathis and Jepsen for yet another reliever to make absolutely sure the bullpen is regrouped.

    That’s what I would do.

    Yeah right. LOL

  10. johnnyfivealive 5 years ago

    We should also remember that Morales was originally an outfielder converted to 1B. He was supposed to be in the outfield if the Angels would have resigned Teixeira…that could still happen. If Rivera is a part of that deal (maybe the Brewers will move Hart and need an outfielder with a team friendly contract) the Angels could put him in LF…or even RF (you would use Abreu as a DH next season). That way next year you could potentially have Prince Fielder as your 1B (this year and possibly next year), Morales in the OF or 1B next year and DH Fielder, and then Abreu can DH or be a RF option depending on how you set up the other guys. It will also set up a scenario where we aren’t just adding a rental for the rest of this season and the Angels seem to be intent on dealing Napoli…

  11. johnnyfivealive 5 years ago

    Also, the bigger picture problem is the Angels have holes everywhere…at 1B, 3B, outfield, starting pitching and relief pitching. Any move that upgrades any of these areas would help them.

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